As we enter 2020, we acknowledge that healthcare technology will influence patient care delivery even more so than the years prior. New and evolving technologies will take forefront and enhance the way patients are treated, the way providers deliver care, and how vendors provide services. These technologies are created to reduce hospitalizations, empower patients, and improve overall healthcare outcomes.
What can you expect to see in 2020? Let’s find out.
Remote Patient Monitoring through Wearables
Patient wearables enable your practice to see into a patient’s day-to-day life outside of the clinical setting. This doesn’t necessarily always come from devices like smart watches or apps, though these devices can point out health concerns like atrial fibrillation. Sometimes, this information is provided through blood pressure readings or glucose levels through certified medical devices.
This type of technology is becoming more and more popular in healthcare. Studies are being performed solely based on data collected by wearable technologies by tech giants like Apple. Incorporating the use of wearable technology and the data created by it into your practice does not come without its challenges. Many practices still struggle with allocating the resources to cipher through the data. To add onto this, they struggle with the “medical liability” they open themselves up to if they receive this information and it isn’t acted on promptly. While this type of data collection is still a concern, we expect that wearable technology will continue to trend in 2020.
When we hear the term artificial intelligence, we automatically picture scientists working on robots. With that being said, AI also refers to items on a much smaller scale. For instance, appointment reminders, wearable technology, digital patient intake solutions, and other tools that automate manual processes are inherently AI.
Outside of simply improving and streamlining workflows, AI can also help to secure your network processes. This is done by performing vulnerability scans, checking for fraud threats or other security measures. This enables your staff to focus on other processes that are integral to your patient’s health while AI focuses on securing their health records.
The main barrier with AI, at the moment, is how segmented the market is. Many of the platforms that fulfill these tasks are individual companies leaving practices to need a suite of programs that are expensive and run by a multitude of organizations. (By finding an EHR vendor with a large solutions package, your practice may be saved a headache when it comes to the billing end of this challenge.)
Telehealth has taken healthcare by storm over the past couple of years. It is no surprise that this trend is set to continue in 2020, reach new heights, and include more services. The expectation is that more providers and specialties will provide telehealth services as more insurers begin to offer reimbursements. The expansion of the market to include more telehealth services will allow individuals in underserved or rural areas access to healthcare resources. It also enables the elderly who may not be able to travel due to physical limitations to easily connect with a provider without leaving their home.
The hope is that individuals of all ages will welcome telehealth services due to their comfortability with using similar services like FaceTime and Google Chat. If providers are able to reassure patients that they are utilizing a secure service, patients may be more willing to do a remote visit with their provider.
The main barriers that exist for telehealth include the following…
- Not all patients have smart devices
- Lack of high-speed internet for some patients
- Insurance companies slow to provide reimbursement for telehealth visits
Patient Access to Care
A main focus of trends for 2020 are centered on easing patient access to care. Improving patient access to care includes providing online scheduling options, telehealth visits, a user-friendly website, and other tools that enhance the patient experience. The ability for practices to not only be found on the internet but to be accessible to a wide array of patients is vital to attract and retain patients in the age of consumerism. If patients aren’t able to easily schedule/cancel appointments, reach your office, or contact their provider with questions, it is likely that they will find someone else to handle their healthcare needs.
When it comes to healthcare trends happening in 2020, which ones are your practice likely to look into? Are there solutions that you are looking to implement to help ease patient access to care?
MicroMD has a full portfolio of solutions to help your practice see success in 2020. For more information and solutions for this year’s healthcare technology trends, visit us at micromd.com or call us at 800.624.8832.
About the author,
Savanna is the Marketing Communication Specialist at Henry Schein MicroMD. She schedules emails to clients, prospects, and VARs, manages social media accounts, performs research, writes blogs and eBooks, and much more while helping to support the simple yet powerful MicroMD solutions.
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